Paraphilias Throughout the World
Ithough there has not been much research documenting the incidence, expression, and treatment of paraphilias outside the United States, there have been limited studies. The majority of information available concerns pedophilia, transvestism, and transsexualism. A limited amount of research exists on other paraphilias, such as sadomasochism. Below, we explore what we do know about paraphilias in a variety of countries.
In Chapter 9 we discussed the conservative and religious background of many Brazilians, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that there is not a great deal of acceptance for para – philiac behaviors. Although there are no legal restrictions against transvestism, researchers estimate that there are few who engage in this practice (de Freitas, 2004). Transsexualism is viewed negatively, and it is against the law to undergo sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). In fact, both the patient and surgeon would be charged with a felony if SRS were to take place (de Freitas, 2004). Because of this, some transsexuals travel to Europe to undergo SRS. We do know that throughout history zoophilia has been found to occur in Brazil, and it has been found to be more common in both men and those living in rural areas (de Freitas, 2004).
China has very strict policies against behaviors it deems inappropriate, and paraphilias certainly fall into this category. Sex offenders in China are often charged with "hooliganism," which is a term that includes a wide range of uncivil and sexually unrestrained behavior (Ruan & Lau, 2004). China has very severe penalties for those who engage in such behaviors, and harsh punishments are common. For example, one review reported that the Chinese government enforced the death penalty for certain sexual crimes, including forced sex and pedophilia (Ruan & Lau, 2004).
Although transvestites are considered deviant in Germany, they don’t get much attention (Lautmann & Starke, 2004). Transsexuals, however, are often treated with disdain. Even so, new laws established in 2002 have provided two possibilities of gender change for transsexuals. In the first, often referred to as the "small solution," a transsexual changes his or her name without changing gender. To do so, he or she would need expert opinions from two people, confirming that he or she has been transsexual for at least 3 years. A "major solution" involves sexual reassignment surgery, which is widely available in Germany. This would lead to legal recognition of gender reassignment on official documents, including passports and birth certificates.
Denmark, and many of the Scandinavian countries, have much more liberal attitudes about sexuality, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they are more likely to see criminal behavior and press appropriate charges. Denmark has high sex crime reporting and treatment of offenders rates (Graugaard et al., 2004). In reaction to increased rates of child sexual abuse, Denmark opened a center for the treatment of sexually abused children at the University Hospital in Copenhagen in 2000, and today many groups actively educate professionals and the lay public about child sexual abuse (Graugaard et al., 2004).
Paraphiliacs in the Czech Republic have many more opportunities for communication and contact with other paraphiliacs than they did in when they were under communist control (Zverina, 2004). This would include clubs, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Sadomasochism and fetishes are the most common paraphilias in the Czech Republic (Zverina,
2004) . Sexual offenders who are charged with crimes are referred for counseling and treatments, which are covered under national health insurance plans.
Sadism and masochism are well-known in Japanese art and literature (Hatano & Shimazaki, 2004). Thousands of S&M magazines are sold each month, and many nightclubs cater to the S&M subculture. Like China, Japan has strict laws and punishments for people who engage in child sexual abuse. In 1999, Japan enacted a Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Prohibition Law that prohibits sexual activity with minors and enforces strict punishments for those charged with these behaviors (Hatano & Shimazaki, 2004).
Although transvestism is not illegal in Hong Kong, a transvestite will be arrested if his or her appearance or behaviors disrupts the peace (Ng & Ma, 2004). Transvestites and transsexuals are often eyed with suspicion and treated differently than nonparaphiliacs. Transsexuals are allowed to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, but they are not legally recognized and must continue to use their chromosomal sex (Ng & Ma, 2004). This often leads to a reduction in social rights, such as tax deductions and child adoptions.
Source: Francoeur & Noonan, 2004.
Why should he want to put it to an end just because some other people find it distasteful, perverted, or abnormal? In what sense is such a person sick?
For this reason, paraphilias have become very controversial. Some theorists suggest that the term describes a society’s value judgments about sexuality and not a psychiatric or clinical category (Silverstein, 1984). In fact, some theorists deny that terms like paraphilia really describe anything at all. Robert J. Stoller, a famous psychoanalytic theorist, objected to the idea of trying to create psychological explanations that group people by their sexual habits (Stoller, 1996).